* Posts by hammarbtyp

1097 posts • joined 28 Nov 2007


Microsoft to Cortana: you’re not going out dressed in iOS or Android, young lady!


"Cortana - please justify your existence" and it promptly uninstalls in a puff of logic

UK government shakes magic money tree, finds $500m to buy a stake in struggling satellite firm OneWeb


Re: OneWeb is probably for comms rather than location

Define excellent upgrade. As far as i can see you are defining two opposing objectives

1) provide a cheap global broadband service

2) provide a military grade communication system

Sorry, you cannot have both. choose 1) and the military would not touch it with a barge pole. Choose 2) and the costs go up and you are not commercially competitive.

As for adding GPS on later, it there is no proof that such a system would work and also add costs

It looks like a awful deal, which could have the capacity to create financial liabilities far down the line.


Re: It Could Be Made to Work ???

"Which is why they're spending $500m to rescue a company that can provide rural broadband. The whole "could be made to work for positioning" is just idle left-field speculation, and not the reason for the purchase."

So basically nationalization of rural broadband services, because that always goes well. You also have to ask the question of why it went bust in the 1st place


Re: It Could Be Made to Work ???

"The other aspect of military usage is more redundancy is better ( China is developing anti-satellite warfare hardware )."

While redundancy can be useful, it also increases complexity. There are so many if's and but's in this is it hard to know where to begin. Basically it feels like someone aw the word satellite on for sale notice and said, that will do. Also not that phone satellites are unlikely to hardened to military spec nor meet military encryption capability.

"If Britain and her allies have access to a less accurate system which has hundreds of cheap satellites, it would be much harder to take it out than the existing GNS systems which have a handful."

I'm not sure Britain ha any allies left. An inaccurate GPS system is an oxymoron

"Even if the resolution isn't perfect - an ICBM missing by a few feet is still going to knacker whatever it was aiming at."

ICBM's are quite happy using inertial navigation and star tracking technology. Your smart missile designed to hit a small bunker window is less resiliant ti inaccracy

Sorry to drone on and on but have you heard of Ingenuity? NASA's camera-copter is ready to head off to Mars


has it been registered with Martian authorities?

CERN puts two new atom-smashers on its shopping list. One to make Higgs Bosons, then a next-gen model six times more energetic than the LHC


Re: Funding

I've heard arguments,some from those should know better, that the money would be better spent finding a cure for Covid-19 or global warming. However they conveniently forget that the technologies and research tools that are being touted to to solve these problems, only exist because of the non-specific basic research done years before.

Progress has only been achieved by exploring the universe to the limits of our capabilities, and then applying the knowledge gain to make better computers, microscopes, batteries, materials etc.

If we ever say, that's as far as we are willing to go, then in about 20 years time the limits of our knowledge will mean that our technological based society which has improved the lives of millions will just stagnate. To me the costs involved are minuscule compared to the possible long term benefits.

Taiwan aims to trump China with new display tech industry development plan


Sounds fine, problem is underneath the security rhetoric of the Trump administration is plain ol' America first isolationist thinking.

Taiwan, etc may think that they can take advantage of this, but I'm pretty sure it would not take long until the US found ways to try and limit Taiwan growth

An Internet of Trouble lies ahead as root certificates begin to expire en masse, warns security researcher


I would love a 25 year certificate

When we explained to our parent company that we wanted a root certificate valid for 25 years, they laughed at us. They were used to generating IT cerificates, and the idea that a piece of OT equipment may be around for longer than 3 years and maybe only connected to every 5 or 6 years were totally alien to them.

n the end we became our own CA, which may of been less secure, was acceptable for our use cases (and also got around the issue that our devices do not have DNS names so browsers tended to hate them )

US senators propose $22bn fund for new fabs on American soil because making stuff is better than designing stuff


Re: $22bn Won’t go far?

Add the pork barrel expenses, and soon you are talking real money

Barmy ban on businesses, Brits based in Blighty bearing or buying .eu domains is back: Cut-off date is Jan 1, 2021


How dare they...

How dare they remove the rights to use something that we have voted to say that we no longer want to be part of.

As a British citizen it is my historic right and duty to claim ownership and rights of any part of the world that I see fit, despite any objections of the existing inhabitants and if I want to claim my company is still part if the EU with a .eu domain name despite me telling you quite forcible that I don't want to be part of the EU then that is my right and no Johnny foreigner is going to tell me different, similarly if i want to reside in the EU, trade with you, etc. Who do they think they are, the bloody EU government. Don't they know only English people actually follow laws

As I told my ex-wife yesterday, just because we had a acrimonious divorce, should not stop me sleeping with her when I want to, or claiming that I still live at her address. Just the fact we have told the EU that we hate you and want nothing more to do with you, does not remove my right to want to operate exactly as if we are best of friends.

Still when you no longer get my £2:50 (0.03 Euro's as adjusted for the exchange rate), we will see who is having the last laugh

Beardy Branson’s 747-assisted sat-launcher can’t get it up


Could do better...

Come on El Reg, the headline should of been

"Virgin fails to get it up"

Have you lost access to the double entendre generation server?

NASA launches guide to Lunar etiquette now that private operators will share the Moon with governments


Re: Has anyone told Donnie?

but what about the moon babes?


NHS contact tracing app isn't really anonymous, is riddled with bugs, and is open to abuse. Good thing we're not in the middle of a pandemic, eh?


Re: One would have throught...

“Under the spreading chestnut tree I sold you and you sold me:

There lie they, and here lie we

Under the spreading chestnut tree"

George Orwell 1984

Ofcom waves DAB radio licences under local broadcasters' noses as FM switchoff debate smoulders again


The bigger problem with DAB is while FM will degrade smoothly, to the point where although you are not getting HiFi sound quality (not a great issue with sport broadcasting anyway), DAB will just cut out leaving you with the dreaded cannot find station signal.

In some ways DAB is a step forward, but in others it harks back to the days where you have to hunt a position for the aerial to pick up the best reception, normally located in the least easily accessible area in your house

Minister slams 5G coronavirus conspiracy theories as 'dangerous nonsense' after phone towers torched in UK


"Or that vaccines cause autism?"

Well at least we now know what a Vaccine free world would actually look like.

Fun isn't it

(That's me in a face mask of my own design)

2020 MacBook Air teardown shows in graphic detail how butterfly keyboards were snipped for scissor switch


Re: Methinks ...

"No company grows to that level without selling products that people actually need and find useful."

"No person would wear such clothes unless they were actually as wonderful as specified" said the tailors as they delivered the emperors new clothes

Chips that pass in the night: How risky is RISC-V to Arm, Intel and the others? Very


Maybe the biggest risk to Intel is China. With the US being increasingly belligerent on using weaponizing IP , there is a incentive for China to invest in its own processor architecture. If China put its weight into RISC-V then Intel and ARM may find things moving away from themselves very quickly

Come kneel with us at UK's Cathedral, er, Oil Rig of the Canal: Engineering masterpiece Anderton Boat Lift


Re: Boat Lifts on the Canal du Centre - Belgium are based on Anderton design

and a bit farther away we have the modern and total waste of taxpayers money " Strépy-Thieu boat lift "

Not sure what the basis of that comment is - on the continent rivers are still important transport routes and by providing a link between the Meuse and the Scheldt allowed an increase in traffic. What would be better, building more motorways?


Belgium lifts

I have visited the Canal du Centre at La Louviere in Belgium which dragged my wife to, much to her chagrin( don't feel too sorry for her, she knew who she was marrying :) ). It is not perhaps the most attractive part of Belgium and to get there you end up driving through a industrial estate, but is impressive none the less. You cannot help and be impressed by the engineering efficiency. I believe it still does work

Would also like to add the Strépy-Thieu boat lift which although far newer is also impressive.

RIP Freeman Dyson: The super-boffin who applied his mathematical brain to nuclear magic, quantum physics, space travel, and more


agreed, sad to see him go. Even sadder (to see him go that is), he was apparently an anthropogenic climate change skeptic...

No he wasn't, although unfortunately his name was bandied around by those who want to legitimize their beliefs. What he believed was global warming would not necessarily result in worldwide disaster. Probably understandable within the context of a man who felt that any problem could be solved with enough application of resources and human intelligence, but not necessarily a great one for those left behind.

Sure, check through my background records… but why are you looking at my record collection?


Re: Coding Tests

All answers to coding tests should be "google it on stackoverflow"

Anything else and it is obvious the person has no experience in the software world


It's not just a matter of covering up a one-off display of xenophobia or boorish masculine behaviour:

Unless you are looking for a job in government of course. If so it is the 1st thing that Mr Cummings will be looking for in the ideal candidate

London's top cop dismisses 'highly inaccurate or ill informed' facial-recognition critics, possibly ironically


Re: What next?

Being in possession of an offensive wife

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to save data from a computer that should have died aeons ago


Call that programming?

I did have one project like that .

We were planning to move from Data General Nova's to spiffing new Motorola Racks, however we could not work out how to transfer the code.

someone came up with the brilliant idea of exporting it via paper tape reader, then reading it in, on a paper tape reader connected to the target machine. Easy enough, except the host machine paper tape was fan-fold while the target was a reel. So we had someone output the paper tape, i had then every day drive 10 miles to the facility to feed in by hand the paper tape into the reader, hoping it would not tear in the process.

I did this for 4 days, then 5 days later the project got cancelled, so it was all in vain

You tell kids that nowadays, and they won't believe you

Apple drops a bomb on long-life HTTPS certificates: Safari to snub new security certs valid for more than 13 months


Just as well we don't use Safari for industrial control devices.

Normally these are local access, do not have remote access and are only updated on long term maintenance contracts (5 year usually)

Often certificates are given 20 years lifetimes because a safety critical system should not go down because a certificate has not been updated in the last year.

Biggest worry would be if Chrome etc follow suit

When the air gap is the space between the ears: A natural gas plant let ransomware spread from office IT to ops


An attack by any other name

"A cyber threat actor used a spear-phishing link to obtain initial access to the organization’s information technology network before pivoting to its operational technology network"

More likely the IT system was randomly targetted, without the attacker actually knowing what the PC's did. The OT system was just collateral damage for the ransomware attack.

But it sounds sexier if you try and make out it was some sort of cyber-terrorist thing

My question is why the IT systems did not have up to date AV and malware detection on them


Re: Hmmm

Prognostics, production reports, alert logging, remote diagnostics ... there many reasons.

It has become increasing common to seeing IT and OT connected which increases the risk of these sort of things. Proper firewall protections can reduce the risk, but it is bot unknown to see such perotections bypassed by ignorant IT

Shipping is so insecure we could have driven off in an oil rig, says Pen Test Partners


Re: And yet...

That's all very nice and all, but in this particular thread we were discussing ships, not drill rigs.

There are many drill rigs that are movable. Many large ships are basically large industrial plants with propellers, the same lessons apply


Re: A few points


Making sure that default passwords are not reused or forced to be changed is important, however it raises another issue.

The common test against any security change is the "Major shitstorm at 1 O'clock in the morning a long way away..."

Basically if a safety critical system goes titsup in an inaccessible location at a time when 1st line support is unavailable, what do you do?

If a system was installed 20 years ago (not uncommon), where do you find your passwords. Are the stored on-site, if not does the company who installed your kit still exist, can they be contacted, have they maintained there records, do they know where they are?

Its scenarios like these that worry people and has to be measured against the unknown risk of a system being remotely hacked.


A few points

A few points here.

1. Working on ships can be really boring. Its not like its a 9-5 job, you are there for 24 hours for extended weeks. This means the temptations to hack the systems to make access easy is far greater. I remember being on a Royal Fleet Auxillary vessel in the 90's and I was amazed by the amount of pirated games that were onboard, because basically there is so little to do on your off-time. If ship owners wish to reduce the temptation to hack, they should provide the facilities to the crew for R&R in a separate secure system. But most won't because it increases cost.

2. Most ship systems are based on COTS systems. This means there is a great temptation for crew to "re-use" bits of kit. Its very hard to lock down say a PC running windows 7 to a determined user with a lot of time on there hands. The biggest threat however is things like USB sticks. They get plugged in so that someone can run their porno picked up on-shore which runs a virus. Virus checkers are very hard to run on such systems because a) without internet access they cannot be easily update b) interfere with the functionality. Fortunately most viruses are designed not to attack control systems but to get bank details etc, although the ransomware ones are a pain

3. Its all very well saying that passwords should be secret, changed etc, but IT policy often does not work well in a Operational technology environment(OT). Imagine a systems where you want to move a ship from a hazard, and your password has expired or you forgot your password and the system locks you out. In fact security standards emphasise that safety trumps security when there is a conflict.

4. Marine systems are very conservative, meaning they are very slow to react. The industry is moving forward, but with systems out there which are 25 years or older, it will take a long time before systems are bought into the 21st century cybersecurity wise

Best buds? Apple must be fuming: Samsung's wireless earphones boast 11 hours of listening on a single charge


Re: Style Council


Sound quality is subjective, whether you look a prat is universal


Style Council

More importantly they don't make you look like you accidentally stuck a couple of electric toothbrush heads into you ears like Apples Airpods do

It's been one day since Blighty OK'd Huawei for parts of 5G – and US politicians haven't overreacted at all. Wait, what? Surveillance state commies?


"Congress should pass a bill calling for an all out United States effort to develop better technology at lower cost to defeat Huawei on 5G worldwide by simply outcompeting them and driving them out of markets,"

Maybe they could have a 5 year plan. call it the "great leap forward" or something

Boris celebrates taking back control of Brexit Britain's immigration – with unlimited immigration program


Re: Good, good.


I hear that from remain and yes some racists supported brexit (I found some supporting remain too).

spend a lot of time with racists do you?


Re: Good, good.

I disagree. Priti Patel (one of the senior figures in the current Brexit-delivering government) actively campaigned for Brexit on the grounds that it would allow the UK to increase immigration from Commonwealth countries (such as India) back to pre-EU levels of 300,000 or so per year.

The idea that Brexiteers weren't fully informed about what they were voting for and what the consequences would be needs to be put to rest. They didn't vote out of ignorance or prejudice. They knew what they voted for and they are going to get it.


Wait a second you really believe this? we are well and truly buggered


1. control was always possible. it is just that successive governments chose to impose it

2. Point to any system of government market control that has been a long term success?


Re: Good, good.

"Unlimited immigration of high calibre engineers, scientists and doctors from around the world (specifically India) is what many I know voted for."

I think a lot of your comrades in arms would be surprised to know that they voted for unlimited immigration from places like India, however well qualified they are.

Still a few problems with this. Firstly there is already a program where talented people can come in. It is capped at 2000, but those limits are rarely reached. We have always had the capacity to attract those, but there are better places to work and that is unlikely to change in the near future

Second is it treats people like commodities that can be bought and sold. These are human beings with their own needs and wants. They are also the sought after people so we are competing on a global stage. So here are a few questions that I would want to ask if I was one of them. Can I bring my wife/partner.children. What would be there legal status. Would they be able to work if my pay falls below the immigration threshold? When my children reach majority will they be given the rights as citizens? What are my rights as visa holder compared as a citizen. Am i tied to one employment? Do I have to pay extra for health care, etc. Certainly for many Europeans the answers to those questions will most likely fall far below what they can get in a similar post in the EU

Thirdly, cost to business. Which ever way you couch it, there is bureaucracy involved. If I wanted to hire the brightest band best I still need to convince the home office they fit the criteria. Big companies and universities will be OK, but startups may well find the cost and effort difficult to sustain

Fourth. Who decides who is the brightest and best. Why are some areas not included. Governments have a terrible track record in anticipating present and future needs

Finally. Can someone also be bright and unaware that the UK has become a far right xenophobic cesspit in recent years. It is almost a catch 22 situation - if apply, you are showing you are not bright enough to understand the ramifications

Ever wondered what Microsoft really thought about the iPad? Ex-Windows boss spills beans


Re: Steven Sinofsky?

He truly is the Thomas Midgely of the software world

Over the Moon? Not quite: NASA boss has a good whinge about 'counterproductive' Authorization Bill


Re: SR-71 Blackbird.

Have you ever *sat* on a Concorde?

No but I have done Ryanair...

and if it was a choice of 3 hours transatlantic on Concoirde compared to 8 hours cattle class on a Delta, I know which one I would take

Brit brainiacs say they've cracked non-volatile RAM that uses 100 times less power


Re: "Within the next decade we'll either have it or we won't"

Reminds me of the famous Nostradamus prediction

"In the future two armies will fight, one will win"

(Woody Allen)

'Buyer's remorse' drove HP's legal crusade to go after Lynch, High Court told


Re: Christmas films are banned until much later in the year.

See icon for comment

Train-knackering software design blunder discovered after lightning sparked Thameslink megadelay


Re: Progress

"Yet they could get their trains running again faster than we can now, in the 21st century?"

Steam trains are incredible time consuming to get going. Apart from the effort in cleaning ashes, it takes a long time to bring steam up to pressure. Nor were they particular reliable and when they went wrong, it tended to be a catastrophic failure.

It easy to look at rose tinted glasses at the age of steam, but they are inefficient, labour intensive and most of the drivers who drove them for a living were glad to see the back of them

Amazon, Google, Microsoft: Who had the best year in cloud in 2019?


Wot, no Oracle? Larry won't be happy

RISC-V Xmas gifts: SiFive emits vector-enabled cores, Western Digital teases new SweRVs, VxWorks hugs ISA, Samsung rolls it into 5G...


Well its nice to see Windriver branching out. Unfortunately when they were owned by Intel, they only seemed interested in Intel x86 architecture so they supported things like ARM and other platforms poorly. However it is clear that Intel have given up in the embedded space, so it left Windriver with no where to go

Uncle Sam challenged in court for slurping social media info on 'millions' of visa applicants


Re: Slightly confused...

it's one of the few differences between an ESTA and a full visa.

For the moment...

Trump Administration fast-tracks compulsory border facial recognition scans for all US citizens


New categories for HB-1 applicants

Melania Trump secured a EB-1 visa which are reserved for "for people who are highly acclaimed in their field", so we can assume the new HB-1 rules will be specifically aimed at young models willing to sleep with ageing millionaires (sic)

BBC tells Conservative Party to remove edited Facebook ad featuring its reporters


"yet not a single one of you able to summon an argument for why my post is wrong."

Well, here's one argument. When UKIP was minority party in the European parliament and had no sitting MPs, he was invited consistently, while no other Euro MPs were invited onto the show.

However this is because QT a long time ago stopped become a forum for serious debate and became a mixture of the Jerry Springer show and the Daily Express, where people were invited not so much for there political discourse but as shock jocks. Even the audience is now invited based on not so much a selection of the country, but on who will give the best 1 minute tag line which is why it largely consists of red face 50 year old white blokes complaining about immigrants cluttering up their golf courses

Brian Eno's latest composition: A giant Christmas card with Julian Assange on it


Re: Assange != Journalism

The most significant award was 8 years ago. At that point it was believed Wikileaks was a organisation dedicated to journalistic values. In the subsequent period we have learnt that Assange is primarily concerned about himself even to the point of selectively releasing information to damage certain democratic parties who he has issues against.

Rather than a crusading protector of free speech, he turned out to be a petty demigod only interested only in his own glory, and screw anyone else (sic)

Be careful who you make your heroes


Assange != Journalism

tying Assange to journalism is an insult to journalists everywhere. There are good, honest journalists around the world who are being vilified, suppressed and even arrested. Assange is not one of them, instead he is a parasite that feeds of the ideals of journalistic integrity

Never much liked Eno's music anyway...

We are absolutely, definitively, completely and utterly out of IPv4 addresses, warns RIPE


Re: The internet will be privatised

Psst-Fancy a IPV4 address, hardly used, fell off the the back of a lorry



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